Australia

'It's unbelievable': Barty celebrates French Open title win after breaking Australia's 46-year drought

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The victory lifts Ashleigh Barty to number two in the world with the 23-year-old also becoming the first Indigenous Australian to win a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1971.

Ashleigh Barty is Australia's first French Open singles champion in 46 years after crushing Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in the women's final.  

The 23-year-old crowned her incredible comeback to tennis with a stunning French Open final triumph.

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Ashleigh Barty speaks to SBS News Chief Europe Correspondent Ben Lewis after her French Open triumph
Ashleigh Barty speaks to SBS News Chief Europe Correspondent Ben Lewis after her French Open triumph

Speaking to SBS News after the win, she thanked Australian fans for their support. 

"The support has been incredible - not just at home but even here in Paris. The amount of Aussie accents I heard the crowd has been amazing. 

"And it has just been really nice to have the support from everyone. I am a very lucky girl."

SBS Sport: Barty becomes first Australian to win French Open in 46 years

Five years after quitting the sport in despair, Barty joined Australian legends Margaret Court (1962, '64, '69, '70, '73), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971) and Lesley Bowrey (1963, '65) on the Roland Garros honour roll with a ruthless 6-1 6-3 victory over unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova.

The win caps off a phenomenal turnaround since returning to tennis in 2016, with a ranking of 623, following an 18-month sabbatical where she played cricket in the WBBL with Brisbane Heat.

'I played the perfect match'

“It’s unbelievable... I played the perfect match today. I am so proud of myself and my whole team... it has been a crazy two weeks,” said Barty after going one better than Fed Cup teammate Samantha Stosur, who lost to the 2010 final in Paris to Francesca Schiavone.

"It [Roland Garros] is a special place for for Australian players ... Sam has been so close before and I am incredibly proud of what I have been able to achieve in this amazing two weeks."

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Barty lifts French Open trophy
Barty lifts French Open trophy

The new queen of clay will also pocket a cool $3.74 million after taking out her maiden grand slam at a tournament where she'd never passed the second round in her five previous visits.

Barty's maiden grand slam victory rockets the 23-year-old to No.2 in the world and franks her name as one of the early favourites to land tennis's greatest prize at Wimbledon next month.

Her new ranking will be the highest by an Australian woman since Goolagong Cawley reached top spot in 1976, and she follows her idol's footsteps by becoming the second Indigenous Australian to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.

Barty joins the ranks of Australian tennis legends

The Queenslander is also the first Australian singles champion in Paris since Court clinched the last of her five titles 46 years ago.

Barty's win puts her in exalted company as she became only the 17th Australian woman to win a major - and first since Samantha Stosur at the US Open triumph in 2011.

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'This is just the start', says Barty
'This is just the start', says Barty

Barty, Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt (2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon) are the only Aussies to win a major since the turn of the century.

The Ipswich-born talent powered through the first set in just under half an hour, breaking the sweet-swinging southpaw three times.

It was the first time Vondrousova - who was looking to become the first teenage winner since Iva Majoli 22 years ago - had dropped a set in the tournament.

Barty stormed in to a 2-0 lead early in the second set and then closed out the one-sided final in an hour and 10 minutes.

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Full replay - French Open final - women's singles - Barty v Vondrousova
Full replay - French Open final - women's singles - Barty v Vondrousova

Political leaders also quick to congratulate Barty

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are the among the many Australians to heap praise on Ash Barty for her French Open tennis title victory.

"I think everyone across Queensland is once again very proud of Ash Barty," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.

"She is a great role model and inspiration to many young Queenslanders, I hope that they will dream to follow in her footsteps.

Earlier Mr Morrison had tweeted his congratulations to Barty "on a stunning victory in the French Open. Our newest Aussie champion!"

Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said Dylan Alcott also deserved praise for defeating American David Wagner 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to record his eighth Grand Slam Singles win.

“Ash Barty is the first Australian woman to win the French open since Margaret Court and follows in the footsteps of Evonne Goolagong Cawley as one of Australia’s greatest ever Indigenous tennis players," he said in a statement.

"Dylan Alcott has proven himself master of men’s singles wheelchair tennis and has become the inaugural French Open Quad Wheelchair Champion.

"Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott have shown they are also true ambassadors for their sport and Australia, sports fans across the country will celebrate with them."

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